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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

Third Position Re:Right! (578 comments)

We'll, maybe they can't all be coders.... But I'm sure there are plenty of openings for liberal arts professors.

about a week ago
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IBM's Watson To Be Used For Cancer Treatment

Third Position Re:Why is Watson needed for this? (46 comments)

It's not a matter of whether cancer research needs Watson, it's a matter of IBM having dumped a large amount of R&D dollars into a solution in search of a problem. This is merely a last-ditch effort to make it pay off.

about a month ago
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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

Third Position Re:Ah yes, lower the standard of living to fix it! (516 comments)

I strongly suspect the Greenspan comment was a veiled sarcasm that didn't quite register in print. Income equality has never struck me as being one of his primary concerns.

about a month ago
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UK Government Wants "Unsavory" Web Content To Be Removed

Third Position Re:Fascists (250 comments)

Unfortunately, beheading Charles didn't end well for the English, either. Note that that was their last experiment with a republic.

about a month ago
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The Billionaires Privatizing American Science

Third Position Re:Billionaire to scientist. (279 comments)

And you're assuming government funded research isn't conducted the same way? Haha.

about a month ago
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The Billionaires Privatizing American Science

Third Position Re:Don't be too sure of yourself. (279 comments)

What if the Billionaire WANTS a certain answer and lets the scientist know it, so that the "data" can be published for a huge return on investment for the billionaire? Tobacco industry did this.

Or maybe billionaire just has an answer he emotionally wants to hear and funds science to get that instead of sensible science? If Jenny McCarthy had billions what sort of research d'you think she might fund?

Or what if billionaire wants research on life extending treatments for him and him alone and screw publishing?

I don't see any compelling reason billionare science would be any better than publicly funded science. I'd rather everyone own the results, too, than a billionaire.

I mean, one thing a billionare is VERY good at is hoarding good things (money) for themselves AREN'T THEY.

--PeterM

And the incentives of the people deciding which research will get public funding differ exactly how? You seem to start with the assumption that the career bureaucrat won't dispose of assets under his control to his greatest advantage whereas the career businessman will. I'm not seeing it.

about a month ago
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Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them!

Third Position Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (303 comments)

Private companies just don't need the sorts of skills that the typical person has. Nobody wants to hire an average programmer (at least, not at US wages), or an average marketer, etc. Today we have hyper-specialization and if you're in the top 1% of whatever you do you'll have a job for life, and if not you'll be lucky to ever have a job. We're still in transition, but all the trends are there.

We life in a country which has a huge economy, and yet tons of people who are unemployed.

Oddly enough, a libertarian economist, Tyler Cowan, wrote a book that agrees with you. Average is Over.

about a month ago
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IBM Begins Layoffs, Questions Arise About Pact With New York

Third Position Re:"Protecting jobs" at the expense of what? (182 comments)

In principle, I agree. But that only holds true as long as management is correctly evaluating what and who is performing efficiently. Judging from IBM's performance and stock price, management is not doing so hot at making that judgement.

That's also a nice thing about markets. They not only punish inefficiency, they also punish stupid management. It may take a while, but eventually the chickens come home to roost.

While government shouldn't protect the inefficient employees, it shouldn't protect incompetent management, either.

Also, economic efficiency isn't everything. Would you be comfortable offshoring industries our national defense is dependent on, even if economic efficiencies could be obtained by doing so?

about 2 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

Third Position Re:Ya think so? (606 comments)

Uh, you do know building can be built 'vertically' right? We've been doing that since the early 1900s.

Uh, you do know San Francisco is notorious for earthquakes, which severely limits how tall buildings can be safely built, right? See 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

about 2 months ago
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Internet Shutdown Adds To Venezuela's Woes

Third Position Re:He's s shill probably (194 comments)

The majority of Venzuelans voted for the government they have today. They stood idly while Chavez rewrote the constitution "for the common people". Now they get to enjoy the benefits.

Well, sure. But then, we can assume that Venezuelan democracy isn't so different from our own. Most likely they voted for it not because it was wonderful, but because it was the least bad choice on the ballot. Just because you get to vote, doesn't necessarily mean you get to vote for what you want.

about 2 months ago
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Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner

Third Position Paul Krugman, 1998 (187 comments)

"The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in “Metcalfe’s law”–which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants–becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s."

--Paul Krugman, 1998

about 2 months ago
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Venezuelan Regime Censoring Twitter

Third Position Re:En Venezuela hay mucho PETROLEO... (152 comments)

When collapse comes, it comes quickly.

"The reason why collapse, especially that caused by socialism, is so utterly complete is that the damage remains hidden for so long. The design margin is used up; savings are depleted; the institutions are hollowed out; public morality becomes perverted and education becomes nothing but a credential — and it all happens out of the public eye. Only when everything is used up, as in Venezuela, when the whole edifice implodes, as if by magic, does the cumulative effect become manifest."

about 2 months ago
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AOL Reverses Course On 401K Match; CEO Apologizes

Third Position Re:Lemme guess... (123 comments)

Calling for a return to the tax structure (up to 90% on the wealthy's incomes), the percentage going to employee compensation, etc., that we had in the 1950's probably would get me branded a "socialist" (by people who don't even understand what the word means). Yet that's what we had in those idyllic Ozzie and Harriet days that so many, including the right wing, see as a lost golden era.

More likely it would just get you branded as an idiot. You might want to keep in mind, in the 1950's the US was the only game in town. Europe was recovering from 2 world wars, made in Japan was synonymous for cheap junk, Korea was in the midst of a civil war, and China and India were mostly known for mass famines. If you wanted to play in the big leagues, you played in the US.

Try charging those kind of tax rates now, and see if you can count to 10 before a major amount of capital flees to friendlier shores.

about 2 months ago
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IBM Looking To Sell Its Semiconductor Business

Third Position Re:What's left? (195 comments)

Kind of like watching fingers fall off of a leper, isn't it?

about 2 months ago
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Government To Require Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication

Third Position Re:Ummmm ... (390 comments)

Yeah, but how do you get out of that situation? If the technology is available, somebody is going to use it. Your only recourse is to pass laws that restrict the use of the technology. But the laws, of course, are enforced by the government. And guess who's even more curious about you, and more likely to abuse that information, than any advertiser?

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

Third Position Re:You can't forgive the bad for the good he did (822 comments)

Well then, how about this: he gets the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nobel Peace Prize, a Presidential pardon, a million dollars and a ticker tape parade... and then we draw and quarter him in Times Square.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Occupy founder calls on Obama to appoint Eric Schmidt 'CEO of America'

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about a month ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "One of the co-founders of the Occupy Wall Street movement has called on Barack Obama to resign as president, and “appoint Eric Schmidt CEO of America”.

Justine Tunney, a self-styled “champagne tranarchist”, is now a software engineer at Google, but remains involved with Occupy Wall Street, through the occupywallst.org website, which she created."

Link to Original Source
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Scientists find the first gene which appears to be linked to intelligence

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about 2 months ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "A gene which may make people more intelligent has been discovered by scientists.
Researchers have found that teenagers who had a highly functioning NPTN gene performed better in intelligence tests.
It is thought the NPTN gene indirectly affects how the brain cells communicate and may control the formation of the cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the human brain, also known as ‘grey matter.’"

Link to Original Source
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Geeks for Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about 5 months ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "Many of us yearn for a return to one golden age or another. But there’s a community of bloggers taking the idea to an extreme: they want to turn the dial way back to the days before the French Revolution.

Neoreactionaries believe that while technology and capitalism have advanced humanity over the past couple centuries, democracy has actually done more harm than good. They propose a return to old-fashioned gender roles, social order and monarchy."

Link to Original Source
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Japanese produce element 113

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "The most unambiguous data to date on the elusive 113th atomic element has been obtained by researchers at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science (RNC). A chain of six consecutive alpha decays, produced in experiments at the RIKEN Radioisotope Beam Factory (RIBF), conclusively identifies the element through connections to well-known daughter nuclides. The search for superheavy elements is a difficult and painstaking process. Such elements do not occur in nature and must be produced through experiments involving nuclear reactors or particle accelerators, via processes of nuclear fusion or neutron absorption. Since the first such element was discovered in 1940, the United States, Russia and Germany have competed to synthesize more of them. Elements 93 to 103 were discovered by the Americans, elements 104 to 106 by the Russians and the Americans, elements 107 to 112 by the Germans, and the two most recently named elements, 114 and 116, by cooperative work of the Russians and Americans. With their latest findings, associate chief scientist Kosuke Morita and his team at the RNC are set follow in these footsteps and make Japan the first country in Asia to name an atomic element."
Link to Original Source
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Cringely predicts IBM will shed 78% of US employees by 2015

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about 2 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "Cringely with more predictions about IBM: "The direct impetus for this column is IBM’s internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame." So far, Cringely's pronouncements about IBM have been approximately true, even if he missed the exact numbers and timeframes. Is he right this time?"
Link to Original Source
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EEOC: High school diploma requirement might violat

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Third Position writes "Employers are facing more uncertainty in the wake of a letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warning them that requiring a high school diploma from a job applicant might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers could run afoul of the ADA if their requirement of a high school diploma screens out an individual who is unable to graduate because of a learning disability that meets the ADA's definition of disability, the EEOC explained."
Link to Original Source
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Apple investigating fuel-cell-powered MacBooks

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Third Position writes "The prospect of fuel-cell-powered MacBooks and other devices was raised in a pair of Apple patent applications published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and discovered by AppleInsider this week. They are entitled "Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device" and "Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device.""
Link to Original Source
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Better brain wiring linked to family genes

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "How well our brain functions is largely based on our family’s genetic makeup, according to a University of Melbourne led study.

The study published in the international publication The Journal of Neuroscience provides the first evidence of a genetic effect on how ‘cost-efficient’ our brain network wiring is, shedding light on some of the brain’s make up.

Lead author Dr. Alex Fornito from the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne said the findings have important implications for understanding why some people are better able to perform certain tasks than others and the genetic basis of mental illnesses and some neurological diseases."

Link to Original Source
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MacBook owner puts dancing thief on YouTube

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about 3 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "One and a half months ago, somebody walked off with Mark Bao's MacBook Air, which had been left unattended in a Bentley University lounge. Normally, this episode would have been entirely unremarkable except for a victim understandably frustrated, angry — and out-of-pocket to the tune of $1,000-plus. But Bao wasn't your typical 18-year-old freshman. He knew his way around a keyboard — and then some.

He had taken the precaution of installing online backup software (called BackBlaze) on the computer and that now allowed him to gain entry into the purloined machine's browser history as well as to view its hard drive where he could track any updates. "It was still backing up files when I logged in on Sunday," he said in an email to CBSNews.com."From the files on the computer and some legwork, I was able to track down who (the thief) was, his Facebook page, his email, and the (now) infamous videos," Bao noted."

Link to Original Source
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Senators to Apple: Pull iPhone DUI checkpoint aler

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about 3 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "Four U.S. senators Tuesday called on Apple to yank iPhone and iPad apps that help drunken drivers evade police, saying the programs are "harmful to public safety."

Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Tom Udall (D-NM) asked Scott Forstall, the head of Apple's iPhone software group, to pull an unspecified number of apps from the company's App Store. The senators also made similar requests of Google's CEO Eric Schmidt and Research in Motion's (RIM) co-CEOs, James Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis.

"Giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern," the senators said in a letter to the executives at the three companies. "We hope that you will give our request to remove these applications from your store immediate consideration.""

Link to Original Source
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Poll: 52% Say Space Shuttle Program Has Been Worth

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 52% of Adults say the space shuttle program has been worth the expense to taxpayers. Twenty-eight percent (28%) disagree and feel the program has not been worth the expense. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.

The number of Americans who feel the program has been worth what it cost is up 12 points from early January, when just 40% felt that way.

When it comes to cutting back on space exploration, Americans are evenly divided. Forty-one percent (41%) believe the United States should cut back on space exploration, down nine points from January, but an equal number (41%) disagree. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure."

Link to Original Source
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U.S. To Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "Despite President Obama's pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia.
Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent's low labor costs.
Under director Rajiv Shah, the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka to teach workers there advanced IT skills like Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming, as well as skills in business process outsourcing and call center support. USAID will also help the trainees brush up on their English language proficiency."

Link to Original Source
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Adventures in Very Recent Evolution

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "Ten thousand years ago, people in southern China began to cultivate rice and quickly made an all-too-tempting discovery — the cereal could be fermented into alcoholic liquors. Carousing and drunkenness must have started to pose a serious threat to survival because a variant gene that protects against alcohol became almost universal among southern Chinese and spread throughout the rest of China in the wake of rice cultivation.

The variant gene rapidly degrades alcohol to a chemical that is not intoxicating but makes people flush, leaving many people of Asian descent a legacy of turning red in the face when they drink alcohol.

Many have assumed that humans ceased to evolve in the distant past, perhaps when people first learned to protect themselves against cold, famine and other harsh agents of natural selection. But in the last few years, biologists peering into the human genome sequences now available from around the world have found increasing evidence of natural selection at work in the last few thousand years, leading many to assume that human evolution is still in progress."

Link to Original Source
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Journalists plot to kill stories critical of Obama

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama's relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama's conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, "Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.""

Link to Original Source
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IBM execs named in $100M racketeering suit

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "A Pennsylvania-based information technology partner of IBM is suing the technology giant for some $100 million, alleging a Ponzi scheme and racketeering.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Pennsylvania on June 16, Devon IT accused IBM and several senior executives by name of misusing $12 million that Devon invested in two IBM projects.

“As part of their scheme, the RICO Defendants intentionally misrepresented the market potential of the products they touted and continued to demand funding from Devon – an admittedly smaller company with less resources than IBM – even after the RICO Defendants secretly canceled at least one of the subject development projects,” the company alleges in the suit."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft's exploited Chinese workforce

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about 4 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "Showing Chinese sweatshop workers slumped over their desks with exhaustion, it is an image that Microsoft won't want the world to see.
Employed for gruelling 15-hour shifts, in appalling conditions and 86f heat, many fall asleep on their stations during their meagre ten-minute breaks.
For as little as 34p an hour, the men and women work six or seven days a week, making computer mice and web cams for the American multinational computer company.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1266643/Microsofts-Chinese-workforce-tired-stay-awake.html#ixzz0lSV01sy3"

Link to Original Source
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Russia doubles price for launching US astronauts

Third Position Third Position writes  |  about 4 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "NASA on Tuesday signed a contract to pay $55.8 million per astronaut for six Americans to fly into space on Russian Soyuz capsules in 2013 and 2014. NASA needs to get rides on Russian rockets to the International Space Station because it plans to retire the space shuttle fleet later this year. NASA now pays half as much, about $26.3 million per astronaut, when it uses Russian ships."
Link to Original Source
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Test Proves General Theory of Relativity Wrong

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, a moving mass should create another field, called gravitomagnetic field, besides its static gravitational field. This field has now been measured for the first time and to the scientists' astonishment, it proved to be no less than one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein's General Relativity predicts."
Link to Original Source
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'Oceans of diamonds' on Uranus and Neptune

Third Position Third Position writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Third Position (1725934) writes "The Telegraph reports Oceans of liquid diamond topped with solid "icebergs" of the precious gems could be on Uranus and Neptune. The first ever detailed research into the melting point of diamond found it behaves like water during melting and freezing — with its solid form floating on the liquid.
A large diamond ocean on one or both of the planets could provide an explanation for an oddity they both share. The two giant gas planets, unlike Earth, do not have magnetic poles which match up with their geographical poles."

Link to Original Source

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